Who Mutilated Dominic Marion?

On the trail of a bizarre hospital crime, New Times finds a cryogenically frozen head, a witch hunt for a wiccan and a stumped detective. And still nobody knows . . .

DeWitt and Wiley would become prime suspects in the police investigation into Marion's mutilation. Like everybody else who participated in the crash code, DeWitt and Wiley insisted they never looked below Marion's waist or saw his apparently absent Foley catheter.

"We just lost somebody," DeWitt said later in a police interview. "I mean, you don't think of going in there and mutilating someone after that. It just doesn't enter your mind."

Just before 7 a.m., Ann Marion and three of her adult children began to arrive to pay their final respects to Dominic Marion.

Attorney Tom McGovern: "One or more of those employees knows something and will go to their grave without telling the truth."
Doug Hoeschler
Attorney Tom McGovern: "One or more of those employees knows something and will go to their grave without telling the truth."
Clockwise from Top Left:
Nurse Sheila Wiley
Organ donor harvester Stephen Gore
Cryogenics enthusiast Rhonda Iacuzzo
Nurse Dan DeWitt
Clockwise from Top Left:
Nurse Sheila Wiley
Organ donor harvester Stephen Gore
Cryogenics enthusiast Rhonda Iacuzzo
Nurse Dan DeWitt

When Ann walked into Room 124 and saw her husband, she thought something very peculiar. Then she put the thought away.

The family would remain at the hospital for about four hours. It was a strikingly long time, a period that would later lead to whispering by hospital employees -- Maybe the wife did it; so-and-so heard they fought when she visited; somebody said he threw a water pitcher at her.

When asked by attorneys about the length of her visit, Ann Marion acknowledged that they were at the hospital for several hours. But there always seemed to be yet another person to wait for, another call to make. And besides, "I just didn't want to leave him," she said.

One of Marion's sons, Glenn, had other concerns in Room 124. He could see a vague discoloration underneath the sheet in Marion's groin area and a couple drops of blood on the top sheet.

Glenn thought the shadow might be expelled waste or pubic hair, and says he requested another sheet from an unidentified passing nurse, who oddly refused. It was a shadow he would describe as "something that is dark and ominous beyond the sheet."

At 10 a.m., the next suspect in the mutilation timeline arrived at Columbia.

Stephen Gore is a clean-cut, mild-voiced organ harvester for the Donor Network of Arizona, the state's federally designated organ procurement organization. His mother had been one of the first eye harvesters in Arizona.

All Columbia medical personnel have access to professional surgical instruments, but Gore was the only person during the timeline of opportunity who acknowledges performing surgery on Marion. In his enucleation kit, Gore carries a mask, gloves, blood tubes, syringes, topical antibodies, an eye muscle hook, an eye speculum, forceps, three pairs of scissors, ice, a four-by-eight-inch Tupperware container and small eye jars.

The procedure takes 15 to 20 minutes.

Melanie Ball, an RN, poked her head into the room and asked Gore how things were going.

"Do you want to watch?" Gore asked from behind the privacy curtain.

"No thanks," Ball said.

About the same time Gore was collecting Marion's eyes, Marion's family made a crucial decision. Marion was scheduled for cremation, but a priest said the body needed to be embalmed and prepared for a viewing if his remains were to be present at a Catholic Mass -- an item of church dogma that has since changed. Marion's family agreed. Their reversal was crucial because if the body had been cremated as planned, it is likely the mutilation never would have been discovered.

Around noon, an ex-police officer named Jack Taylor arrived to transport the body to Heritage Funeral Chapel. Taylor was the last known person to have private access to Marion. A security guard escorted Taylor and his gurney to Room 124, where Taylor quickly sized up the job.

First, the linens had to go. The usual routine is to remove hospital sheets, then cover a body with sheets from the mortuary for transport. Hospitals are fussy about death-care workers taking valuable linens. As Pohorily put it, "It's a big deal to them. You got a million people dying, that's a million sheets gone."

Taylor pulled off the top blanket covering Marion and found an ugly sight: a lopsided circle of blood had soaked through the sheet from below.

"There was no way I was going to mess with that," Taylor remembers. He decided to simply take the bundle of hospital bedding that contained Marion rather than unwrap him.

It took three or four tries to move Marion to the gurney, with several hospital employees hefting the weight. Two nurses got on top of the bed for better positioning. As they lifted, a pool of blood was revealed under the body. The stain extended from Marion's mid-back to his buttocks. More blood dripped onto a nurse's shoe.

No one looked under the sheet; nobody raised any questions about the blood.

Taylor ushered the body into the mortuary van and drove to Heritage Funeral Chapel. It took Taylor about an hour longer than usual to make the trip, a gap that attorneys later called suspicious.

When Taylor arrived, Eisenhour was waiting, gloves on.

Eisenhour pulled off the stained top sheets. Underneath was Marion. His gown was up around his chest, unsoiled. The absorbent, quilted "chuck pad," or "geri pad," underneath the body was red and wet. The pad was pulled up between Marion's legs and over his groin, as if to cover a wound.

Eisenhour pulled it back, and stared.

He called to Taylor: "Look at this."

A Body of Evidence

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